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South Dakota State Motto

Under God, the People Rule Language:English
Translation:  Adoption:1885

State mottoes may be said to reflect the character and beliefs of the citizens of the state, or more accurately, the citizens of the state when they were adopted. State mottoes can help us gain insight into the history of a state. [What is a motto? ]

Adoption of the South Dakota State Motto

The South Dakota motto, like others, was adopted as part of the state seal. It was suggested by the Reverend Joseph Ward, founder of Yankton College, at the 1885 Constitutional Convention. It was adopted as the South Dakota motto, as an element of the state seal in the 1885 constitution and in the 1889 constitution.

The wording in the South Dakota Constitution, pertaining to the motto, reads:

Properly divided between the upper and lower edges of the circle shall appear the legend, "Under God the People Rule" which shall be the motto of the state of South Dakota.

About the South Dakota State Motto

One of 21 English state mottoes, Under God, the People Rule is also one of four state mottoes that express a religious sentiment.

The South Dakota Constitution

Like many states, South Dakota's state motto was adopted as an element of its official seal. The following information is excerpted from the South Dakota Constitution, Article 21, Section 1.

The South Dakota Statutes

The following information is excerpted from the South Dakota Statutes, Title 1, Chapter 6, Section 1-6-2.

Additional Information

State Motto List: List of all of the state mottoes.

State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002

State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other Symbols: A Study based on historical documents giving the origin and significance of the state names, nicknames, mottoes, seals, flowers, birds, songs, and descriptive comments on the capitol buildings and on some of the leading state histories, Revised Edition - George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D., The H.W. Wilson Company, 1938 (Reprint Services Corp. 1971)


Source: South Dakota Constitution, (http://legis.state.sd.us/statutes/index.cfm?FuseAction=ConstitutionArticleList), March 24, 2005
Source: South Dakota Statutes, (http://legis.state.sd.us/statutes/index.cfm?FuseAction=StatutesTitleList), March 24, 2005
Source: Merriam-Webster Online, (http://www.m-w.com/), March 3, 2005
Source: State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002
Source: State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other Symbols: Revised Edition (Reprint)- George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D., The H.W. Wilson Company, 1938

 

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